CNN: Americans too stupid to comprehend Obama’s genius, or something

posted at 10:12 am on June 17, 2010 by Ed Morrissey

Why did Barack Obama lay an egg with his Oval Office speech this week?  Most people assume that his failure to give any specifics on fixing the problem, his attempts to leverage the spill for his policy agenda, and his empty promises of yet another commission and a “czar” painted Obama as an empty suit far out of his depth.  CNN has a different analysis of Obama’s failure — that we’re out of his depth:

President Obama’s speech on the gulf oil disaster may have gone over the heads of many in his audience, according to an analysis of the 18-minute talk released Wednesday.

Tuesday night’s speech from the Oval Office of the White House was written to a 9.8 grade level, said Paul J.J. Payack, president of Global Language Monitor. The Austin, Texas-based company analyzes and catalogues trends in word usage and word choice and their impact on culture.

Though the president used slightly less than four sentences per paragraph, his 19.8 words per sentence “added some difficulty for his target audience,” Payack said.

As it happens, I have some experience with reading-comprehension levels, from my days in the defense industry.  When writing technical manuals, we had to calculate (by hand in those days) the average reading level in order to satisfy contractual obligations with the various service branches.  Depending on the project and the target readership, those levels ranged between 8th- and 12th-grade levels. A grade level of 9.8 would have been about right for most of our projects, hardly qualifying as too intellectual.

It’s not easy to find data on the American average reading level.  A 1993 study put it somewhere between 8th and 9th grade reading level, which would have been just short of the 9.8 level found by CNN’s expert.  That seems rather low, however, when the US high school graduation rate was 69.2% in 2006.  Granted, not everyone who graduates from high school has a reading level commensurate with the 12th grade, but one has to assume that they do better than middle-school rankings in order to get a high-school diploma.

If they don’t, doesn’t that indict the education system?  We have steadily increased federal spending on education through the Clinton, Bush, and Obama administrations.  If all that gets us is an electorate who mysteriously can’t comprehend a speech given at a writing level equivalent to that of an average 15-year-old kid, then we’ve spent money on the wrong things, and let the wrong people benefit from it.

Besides, there are other problems with this analysis.  Reading levels don’t directly equate to verbal comprehension, for instance, nor does it factor issues like delivery.  Mainly, however, the people criticizing Obama’s speech as wholly inadequate have at the least demonstrated a reading comprehension level above the high-school-freshman level, and have been criticizing it for substantive reasons.  They haven’t been standing around scratching their heads, trying to figure out the President’s vocabulary, and the attempt by CNN to pass it off as just too intellectual for the hoi polloi is both snobbery and ignorance, an amusing and illuminating combination.


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President Obama’s speech on the gulf oil disaster may have gone over the heads of many in his audience

Aw man, I just snorted my coffee, this is hilarious.
If by “gone over the heads of” you mean equal parts annoyed and bored the audience, than I’m with you Mr. Payack.

The speech content, was only ok at best, the delivery was dry and uninspired. Trying to scrounge for excuses is just pathetic, expecially when they entail insulting everyone who didn’t like it. Par for the course though, isn’t it?

Heralder on June 17, 2010 at 10:56 AM

crap, i can’t even write well this morning…. *effing losing it***

ted c on June 17, 2010 at 10:56 AM

CNN doesn’t comprehend the reasons why they are going down in the cable ratings either, or how they got there apparently, but the cellar awaits. Pretending to comprehend the reality of a given circumstance is something people usually grow out of, but playing hide and seek from the facts of a delivered presidential speech is evidently still okay for these people.

Americannodash on June 17, 2010 at 10:56 AM

Please forgive me for missing The Won’s speech, I was working late. Apparently, it doesn’t matter since “IT” was over my head, intellectually speaking.

oldleprechaun on June 17, 2010 at 10:57 AM

Those who truly understand what may seem to be a difficult concept and those who are speaking their thoughts and feelings in a forthright manner share a common characteristic – they make themselves clear to any audience. Obama does not and never has fallen into this group. And it is not by accident. His statements are always professorial and always vague enough to allow him wiggle room when responses are made.

He’s an egocentric liar and flim-flam artist, and that’s the end of it. Leadership is far beyond his reach. His words notwithstanding, his performance in the face of challenges makes it clear to even his most ardent supporters that he is nothing even close to what they thought they would get when they voted for him. He offered vaguely defined Hope and undefined change. They believed. Now, they’re beginning to know. Say what you will about the words, actions speak louder and they’re what is being heard.

Hobbes on June 17, 2010 at 10:57 AM

Back in my TV dayz, we were told to write to a 6th grade level. One thought per sentence. Use words used in everyday conversation. The main reason is someone listening only gets one chance to catch what you are saying. It’s easier to comprehend more complex sentences when reading.

Wouldn’t professional speech writers at the Presidential level know that and more? Or could it be that they were trying to make the President sound “smart” when he really didn’t have a lot so say?

As a couple of people have pointed out so far, so much for being a great communicator. Also, is CNN taking swipes at those dummies at MSNBC?

Ordinary1 on June 17, 2010 at 10:57 AM

Haiku Guy on June 17, 2010 at 10:26 AM

Ha! If I wrote like that in High School I would have gotten an “F” for all the mistakes.
.
BTW you pretty good at copyediting want to proof my 5,000 word Sci-Fi epic “The Second Chapter of Buckaroo Banzi”?

LincolntheHun on June 17, 2010 at 10:57 AM

Hm, rogue italics in my last post, sorry.
If you found that objectional, it must just be that you’re all too uneducated to get my italics.

Heralder on June 17, 2010 at 10:58 AM

In other words, our current public education system saturated with liberal agenda is making us to dumb to understand our Harvard genius in office.

Agreed! Let’s abandon it and return to the classical method.

Oh, that’s right, they want their sheeple dumb.

shick on June 17, 2010 at 10:59 AM

Question: why does anybody waste their time listening to this fool? I was turned off the first time I heard him speak during the presidential campaign realizing that he was just a slick snake-oil salesman and vowed never to listen to him again.

docdave on June 17, 2010 at 10:59 AM

Was Alvin Greene available for comment?

Flyboy on June 17, 2010 at 11:01 AM

Ah maye bee to stoopid too unerstan’ the prezident, but ah’m smart enuff to not watch CNN

Trafalgar on June 17, 2010 at 11:02 AM

Yes. It was difficult to understand. But I’m greatful that a big people like Obama cares for small people like me. In fact, if it weren’t for big people, where would we small people be??

Rod on June 17, 2010 at 11:03 AM

Of course, by definition, CNN is broadcasting to its own audience.

And if CNN wants to say that their audience are all a bunch of illiterate morons, that is one of the very few things I feel comfortable taking their word for.

logis on June 17, 2010 at 11:03 AM

I understood the snake oil salesman perfectly. He used the opportunity to try and sell his energy bill and to let us know he has no real plan for containing the spill or cleaning it up. Oh yea, and did we know that whats his name has a Nobel prize?

scalleywag on June 17, 2010 at 11:04 AM

Democrat voters in SC agree… they think.

mankai on June 17, 2010 at 11:04 AM

Same old same old. If you don’t agree with Oblablah you must be either

a) racist
b) stupid
c) and and b

angryed on June 17, 2010 at 11:04 AM

On a positive note, CNN’s ratings, and their unwillingness to change course of their slavish pandering to this administration “Shows their commitment to go down with this sinking ship”

It looks like BP is captain of that ship….Barack Obama not so much. Lift that barge, tote that bail, give that lame speech….sound familiar?

Dr Evil on June 17, 2010 at 11:05 AM

Paul J.J. Payack, president of Global Language Monitor.

Useless.

Probably the most idiotic thing (not said or done by a Democrat) that I will read this week.

The Austin, Texas-based company analyzes and catalogues trends in word usage and word choice and their impact on culture.

Please, please tell me that they don’t get any tax dollars. Not going to look it up, but I would have to guess that they do, because who else would pay money for this useless information, except maybe CNN?

Oh lookie over 20 words in that last sentence. The means something! No, really….

reaganaut on June 17, 2010 at 11:05 AM

He looks like such a stupid little wind up toy in that picture, a clown

clnurnberg on June 17, 2010 at 11:07 AM

Payack,

Why specializing in ‘global language’? American English too good for you?

What part of the “No, you lugnuts.” about Obama’s speech you don’t understand?

Sir Napsalot on June 17, 2010 at 11:07 AM

Okay, you people need to stop using big words like “the” and “it” and “you” because I’m just having trouble following what it being said.

Pcoop on June 17, 2010 at 11:08 AM

While live blogging O’s speech, Hugh Hewitt referred to it as the “cliche speech”.
Apt.

chewydog on June 17, 2010 at 11:08 AM

Maybe the oil well only has a reading level of 7th grade, and that is why it hasn’t responded to Obama’s eloquent demands that it stop spewing.

bitsy on June 17, 2010 at 11:08 AM

OT, but still somewhat relevant. Maybe he thinks we’re too stupid to get this, too.

mr.blacksheep on June 17, 2010 at 11:08 AM

Paul J.J. Payack

A dude with two middle names and both start with J? Dude, seriously.

angryed on June 17, 2010 at 11:09 AM

An speaker or writer that presents a hypothesis based on the idea that BHO is smart or knowledgeable or intelligent has just identified himself as an idiot. What proof is there anywhere that BHO is anything but a crafty, shallow demogogue?

Let me quote Thoreau:

“Sometimes we are inclined to class those who are once-and-a-half witted with the half-witted, because we appreciate only a third part of their wit.”

Clearly, Obama can only appreciate a third of the wit of the majority of the American people

georgealbert on June 17, 2010 at 11:11 AM

<strong>”The people have lost the confidence of the government; the government has decided to dissolve the people, and to appoint another one”. Bertolt Brecht

RobCon on June 17, 2010 at 11:12 AM

This is why we need Alvin Greene.

Joe Caps on June 17, 2010 at 11:14 AM

Paul J.J. Payack

A dude with two middle names and both start with J? Dude, seriously.

angryed on June 17, 2010 at 11:09 AM

What are you saying? He just might be pretentious?

Hold on I have to Google pretentious

Dr Evil on June 17, 2010 at 11:15 AM

Maybe we should blame the NEA.

Why not the NBA?

Dr. ZhivBlago on June 17, 2010 at 11:15 AM

Average Americans aren’t as stupid as the elitists want to believe.

Beaglemom on June 17, 2010 at 10:30 AM

FIFY

strictnein on June 17, 2010 at 11:15 AM

Moe: “Boy, are we um-day.”
Curly: “You mean we’re um-day in pig language?”
Moe: “We’re um-day in any language.”

mrt721 on June 17, 2010 at 11:16 AM

The man was never a professor, that would mean that he had written multiple articles for peer reviewed journals, and good journals too. There is no evidence that he was on a tenure track or that it was considered. He was a failure as an academic. Our widdle president was never more than a “lecturer” and not entitled to the respect the media is suggesting we give him. He is not “professorial”, just an arrogant fraud.

clnurnberg on June 17, 2010 at 11:17 AM

georgealbert on June 17, 2010 at 11:11 AM

Remember when John Kerry ran against George W Bush? They made out like Kerry was surely more intelligent than Dubya. They looked up their grade averages at Yale, and they were comparable.

What was Barack Obama’s grade average?

Obama, has speech writers. That means one of his speech writers wrote a speech at 9.8th grade level not Obama, he just delivered the speech.

What is CNN really pointing out? That Obama’s speech writers, can’t provide him with an effective speech to deliver”

Dr Evil on June 17, 2010 at 11:21 AM

I tried to watch, I really did. But after about 5 minutes of that totally useless and misplaced gesticulating that had no connection what-so-ever to what he was saying, I could take no more.

I sure hope Ted Baxter has the body language expert on this week to ‘splain to us wtf is up with all the hand movements, while his elbow remained glued to the desk.

ornery_independent on June 17, 2010 at 11:21 AM

Obama needs to get Snoop Dogg to rewrite his speeches before he gives them to his fan base.

“BP-shafizzill is guilizzle and it isizzle Bushizzle’s faultizzle”
Translation: BP is guilty and it is Bush’s fault.

albill on June 17, 2010 at 11:22 AM

New Tea Party sign:

“WI DUZ THE GOVERMINT THINK IM STOOPID? I WUZ EDUKATD IN A PUBLIK SKUL.”

Reading and reading comprehension is the key to learning. Fredrick Douglass said that if you read you will be free. This is reason #5672 why I homeschool.

BTW I taught my daughter to read for under $20 (not including library fines of course). I have no college degree or “specialized training” yet she is reading like a champ and comprehending as well.

kringeesmom on June 17, 2010 at 11:23 AM

A Shrink Asks: What’s Wrong with Obama?

ornery_independent on June 17, 2010 at 11:24 AM

The man was never a professor, that would mean that he had written multiple articles for peer reviewed journals, and good journals too.
clnurnberg on June 17, 2010 at 11:17 AM

Obama was allegedly the “president” of the Harvard Law Review.

But he never actually WROTE anything. How is that even possible?

logis on June 17, 2010 at 11:25 AM

If Giggles is so damn brilliant, where are his college transcripts?

crazy_legs on June 17, 2010 at 10:51 AM

Good point, and why did Obama pay out heavy bucks to get his personal back ground secured and off limits.

Keemo on June 17, 2010 at 11:25 AM

Paul J.J. Payack
A dude with two middle names and both start with J? Dude, seriously.
angryed on June 17, 2010 at 11:09 AM

What are you saying? He just might be pretentious?
Hold on I have to Google pretentious

Dr Evil on June 17, 2010 at 11:15 AM

Hey, what’s wrong with his name and occupation?
3rd rate porn stars have to do something once they retire from the Biz.
And I bet he still rocks the ’70′s porn star ‘stache.

LincolntheHun on June 17, 2010 at 11:28 AM

Maybe we should blame the NEA.

__

Why not the NBA?

Dr. ZhivBlago on June 17, 2010 at 11:15 AM

I don’t know what either of those are, acronyms not only go over my head, but they confuse me. When I’m confused, I get angry and violent and then usually resort to viciously banging on an empty gas can with a wrench until I either get too tired and fall asleep on the pavement or I find a small insect walking by to capture my intrest.

My only comfort is that everyone else who didn’t like Obama’s speech is similarly afflicted with such behavior.

Heralder on June 17, 2010 at 11:29 AM

Just say NO.

Obama is quickly become a de facto lame duck. And, Congress is scared to pass any more legislation regarding spending. Can you believe this:

Senate rejects more stimulus funding
Democrats join GOP in defeat for Obama

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2010/jun/16/senate-rejects-more-stimulus-funding/

Besides, the BP mess is proving that Obama is both arrogant and misguided about solving ANY problem. Obama takes his responsibilities with great disdain and careless abandon.

OBAMA’S REWARD FOR HIS ACTIONS: NO MORE OBAMA.

The Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll for Thursday shows that 26% of the nation’s voters Strongly Approve of the way that Barack Obama is performing his role as president.

http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/politics/obama_administration/daily_presidential_tracking_poll

Just say NO to Obama.

AdrianS on June 17, 2010 at 11:31 AM

The only stupid people in this equation were the ones that voted for Obama.

zoyclem on June 17, 2010 at 11:35 AM

What is CNN really pointing out? That Obama’s speech writers, can’t provide him with an effective speech to deliver”

Dr Evil on June 17, 2010 at 11:21 AM

There is a remedy if this is the problem.

Fire those speech writers, and hire more effective speech writers. That’s called “problem solving” The President might want to look into it :)

This reminds me of Desiree Rogers, letting the Salahis’ into the White House, she should have been Fired on the spot, but she wasn’t because of cronyism. I guess the Obama administration can’t figure out they can’t afford cronyism anymore. Replace the failed speech writers – with competent effective speech writers. I can’t imagine they are all that indispensable.

Dr Evil on June 17, 2010 at 11:37 AM

Reading levels don’t directly equate to verbal comprehension, for instance, nor does it factor issues like delivery.

Admittedly, I haven’t resorted to Google, but is that a correct statement? It seems counterintuitive. Seems like there would be at least some correlation.

An Objectivist on June 17, 2010 at 11:37 AM

Even if we accept the premise, though, doesn’t it still make the speech a disaster?

If the purpose of the speech was to communicate some big strategy and set everyone’s mind at ease, then it doesn’t really matter why people come away from it frustrated at the perceived imcompetence (whether we’re too dumb to understand his genius or Obama’s not as smart and clever as he seems to think he is), a brilliant communicator should have been able to handle whatever audience was thrown his way, and an astute politican should have been aware of the audience he was addressing.

The fact remains our dear leader is failing to lead. It doesn’t matter if it’s his ego or his words that are too big.

BlueCollarAstronaut on June 17, 2010 at 11:37 AM

I think enough of us are intelligent enough to catch all the lies from dear leader. We know we better catch them cuz we won’t hear about it from the msm.

Kissmygrits on June 17, 2010 at 11:42 AM

After the very first speech mr. obamao made when he won the “presidency” (dictator of the entire “free” world) I sent him an email. In that email I made a very simple comment that I’m quite sure he would have understood because it was as simple as every speech he’s made. That comment was, very simply, “I know you’re lying because your lips are moving”

Nothing has changed.

(lack of capitals in honorifics was intentional)

Vntnrse on June 17, 2010 at 11:43 AM

Maybe Obama read it from the teleprompter wrong.

lorien1973 on June 17, 2010 at 11:44 AM

Were the stupid people who didn’t understand Obama’s speech the same stupid people who voted for him?

katieanne on June 17, 2010 at 11:46 AM

why did Obama pay out heavy bucks to get his personal back ground secured and off limits.
Keemo on June 17, 2010 at 11:25 AM

Well, du-uh! He covered up all that stuff because it reflects way, way too favorably on him.

The guy is just really really really modest. It’s only one of so many ways he’s better than everyone else.

Let’s face it, if you knew more about Obama’s background, you wouldn’t have any CHOICE but to think he was the greatest President ever. And the last thing in the world someone like Barack Hussien Obama wants is adulation.

logis on June 17, 2010 at 11:49 AM

The bucket is full of holes and empty yet the media will still carry it for this bonehead.

faol on June 17, 2010 at 11:50 AM

but one has to assume that they do better than middle-school rankings in order to get a high-school diploma.

Sadly, one really does not have to assume that.

RINO in Name Only on June 17, 2010 at 11:56 AM

…It is beyond ignorant to still have the useful idiots that make up the democratic party continue to boast of their faux superiority and intelligence while being the fore-bearers of so much failure.

….these super smart liberals are the same people who:

……said we would lose in Iraq

………bought the Global Warming Hoax hook line and sinker


…………stated they would not succumb to lobbyist/ special interest groups and back room deals


……………..stated they would conduct an open,honest,and transparent government


…………………bragged about “smart power” bringing peace on an international stage.


…….spent over 800 billion tax payer dollars for a failed stimulus that promised unemployment would not exceed 8% and would “create” over 3.5 million jobs (9.7% and we have lost over 4 million since)


……….went to Copenhagen to save the world from Global Warming and came back with a worthless piece of paper


…………went to Copenhagen to get the Olympics only to be bit#h slapped to third place

………Ahmadinejad is stronger than ever and makes a fool of Obama on a regular basis


………….Putin is stronger than ever and makes a fool of Obama on a regular basis

……….deficits are at all time records and still growing

…..unemployment is at all time records and growing


……………private sector is being gutted on a daily basis


……..failed to enact proper inspections,oversight,and emergency procedures while he oversees the worst environmental disaster this country has ever seen


…..this administration has been such a complete and utter failure that more than 18 months into the “Hope and Change” era….they are still blaming everything on Bush..

It is an absolute joke that liberals would even have the audacity to utter the words “intelligence” in the same sentence as Obama much less still go around bragging with faux bravado about this imaginary “superior intellect” that he and his sheep are supposed to posses.

The Obama administration is nothing more than Alice in Wonderland on steroids……pathetic.

Baxter Greene on June 17, 2010 at 12:02 PM

The people who can’t read or listen at a 9.8 grade level don’t watch this crap anyway. The people that understand what the turd in chief is saying don’t listen either because they know he’s lying!

Obviously the people at CNN didn’t comprehend what he was saying either.

Vince on June 17, 2010 at 12:04 PM

Though the president used slightly less than four sentences per paragraph, his 19.8 words per sentence “added some difficulty for his target audience,” Payack said.

I can’t hear paragraph breaks in speech. Does that mean that I’m only at an eighth-grade intellectual level?

ClassicalMusicNerd on June 17, 2010 at 12:07 PM

BP Spills Coffee – Even Kevin Costner can’t save them, this is pretty funny.

Dr Evil on June 17, 2010 at 12:07 PM

Even a 3rd grader can comprehend that not cleaning up the spill and instead imposing a massive, job-killing tax doesn’t make sense.

It’s not just that Obama is an idiot, he is an idealogue intent on bringing America down to the level of a 3rd world country.

Conveniently for Obama, 3rd world countries are a lot easier to rule with impunity.

notagool on June 17, 2010 at 12:15 PM

Can you go over that again, Ed? A little slower, and use smaller words.

lionheart on June 17, 2010 at 12:16 PM

How to Win Liberal elites and influence Liberal Moderates?

CynicalOptimist on June 17, 2010 at 12:20 PM

It was just the case that Obama’s speechwriters recognized that the content and thrust of the speech as assigned by the White House political advisers was weak. The writers only option was to resort to the old cliche: “if you can’t dazzle them with your brilliance, baffle them with your bs”.

Unfortunately for these self-selected “elite” who sneer at the citizenry for failing to understand complex concepts presented in a complex manner, that same citizenry has developed its own bs detector: what actually is working. In the case of Obama and the spill the answer is: nothing.

iconoclast on June 17, 2010 at 12:20 PM

They haven’t been standing around scratching their heads, trying to figure out the President’s vocabulary, and the attempt by CNN to pass it off as just too intellectual for the hoi polloi is both snobbery and ignorance, an amusing and illuminating combination.

Not to mention insane. I’m really sick of this new business of total denial. Where they simply call things something other than what they are, and expect us to believe it.

You might be looking at a pot of beans, and they will insist it is a shower curtain. And this is supposed to work?

The idea is to get people to question their own eyes, ears, and brains. And I think it does work, to an extent – most especially on young people.

This method has reached insane levels, I think, since Obama. Just outright lying, and daring anyone to question it.

This method has reached insane levels, I think, since Obama. Just outright lying, and daring anyone to question it.

Now we are supposed to believe that American people can’t understand simple words in a simple speech – that most of them can’t handle anything beyond 8th grade reading comprehension.

That is presented as a fact, and the rest of the article proceeds as if that premise were fact.

And in this case, it might work because a lot of people want to believe they are much more intelligent than most people, and would be happy to believe that a grade-school speech is simply too much for their inferiors (i.e., almost everyone else) to understand.

In any case, am I the only one who has been insulted over and over by this new method of simply insisting that what we saw – we didn’t? Or what we heard – we didn’t? Or what we know happened – didn’t?

I’m having a hard time articulating what I’m trying to say here. But I think it is what Obama and his crew always meant by “audacious.” Audacious lying. Simply audacious lying, above and beyond all common sense or evidence.

Alana on June 17, 2010 at 12:23 PM

Give it up CNN. It’s been exposed, and most everyone sees. Obama is an empty suit, devoid of any real intelligence, other than what’s fed to him via the TOTUS, or an ear piece with Axelrod, and Rahm feeding him the info. And we all know how *cough* brilliant *cough* they are!

capejasmine on June 17, 2010 at 12:25 PM

Uhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhuuuuuuuuuuuuhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh…..

rollthedice on June 17, 2010 at 12:27 PM

Was Alvin Greene available for comment?

Flyboy on June 17, 2010 at 11:01 AM

Yes. He mumbled “Put America back to work.”

KeepOhioRed on June 17, 2010 at 12:29 PM

Granted, not everyone who graduates from high school has a reading level commensurate with the 12th grade, but one has to assume that they do better than middle-school rankings in order to get a high-school diploma.

Surely you jest? Have you seen our public high schools?

Inkblots on June 17, 2010 at 12:37 PM

We’ve got an apocalyptic oil gusher spewing unknown gallons of oil every second. The death toll of sea and wild life looks to be epic in numbers. The fishing industry down in the Gulf is sunk. The coastline is ruined. We don’t even know how far into other oceans this oil might contaminate. No one knows how to stop it.

Yet, yet Mr. Payak seems to be obsessed parsing Obama’s disastrous speech, and in doing so, decides it was just way, way above us in intellectual content.

Obama doesn’t have a plan, never had a plan…just went off on the windmills of his mind. That’s what I got out of it. Call me what you will, Mr. Payak.

betsyz on June 17, 2010 at 12:39 PM

What the heck kind of reporting is this? Reading level, seriously? This is freaky media, folks … the president can get away with a vague speech because Americans have low comprehension … what else will they excuse for him?

Amy Ritter on June 17, 2010 at 12:45 PM

I didn’t understand any of his incomprehensible drivel; but I didn’t realize it was due to my weak comprehension skills. Thanks for clarifying CNN. Much obliged.

nt

NumberTwo on June 17, 2010 at 12:46 PM

Remember when John Kerry ran against George W Bush? They made out like Kerry was surely more intelligent than Dubya. They looked up their grade averages at Yale, and they were comparable.

Dr Evil on June 17, 2010 at 11:21 AM

As I recall, that info didn’t come out until after the 2004 election-wonder why that was?

And when it came out, Bush’s grades were actually slightly higher than the Boston Fog’s.

Del Dolemonte on June 17, 2010 at 1:01 PM

Hmmmmm.

1. Since we as Americans get bombarded with every imaginable style of commercial advertisement from an early age we tend to form very strong bullshit detectors.

2. All Obama has is bullshit.

3. The Facebook api link is slowing your website down.

memomachine on June 17, 2010 at 1:09 PM

In a stunning and ironic change in status, these same “dummies” were pronounced effing geniuses when voting for “The One”. It’s true though, I don’t understand. I don’t understand how this clown got elected in the first place.

sgtstogie on June 17, 2010 at 1:09 PM

It says so much about CNN that they went and found this “Global Language Monitor” guy. As someone yesterday said about another news outlet, they have moved way beyond bias and are openly working hand-in-hand with the White House communications staff to prop up a failing president. I wonder what reading level they’d need to be functioning at to understand they are useful idiots. Apparently, a level way beyond where they are.

Rational Thought on June 17, 2010 at 1:10 PM

I would like to take a second off-topic to address Ed’s comment concerning reading levels when writing military manuals. Some assume the levels are written at the 9th grade level because the military is not capable of reading comprehension at a higher level. The real reason is they must focus on soldiers who are forward deployed working 7 days a week, 12-14 hour days for their 13 month rotations. Simply put, they do not want someone who is sleep-deprived and fatigued to misunderstand the manual. This would lead to mistakes which have greater consequences than in, let say, your local auto shop. A airframe and powerplant mechanic makes a mistake in theater might result in a critical failure leading to the death of the aircrew and resulting collatorial damage. I just wanted to point that out as a retired US Army Sergeant Major, Doctorial Candidate. One of the uneducated, no opportunity masses according to the liberals.

usarmyretired on June 17, 2010 at 1:11 PM

President Obama’s speech on the gulf oil disaster may have gone over the heads of many in his audience, according to an analysis of the 18-minute talk released Wednesday.

Us stoopid rednecks need Tingle-Legs Matthews to splain all dem hi-falutin words, and he say dat dere was no “how” in da speech–how is Da Man gonna clean up da awl in da Gulf.

How ya gonna kick ass and plug da d@mn hole, Mr. Prez? Splain it to us, we missed it.

Steve Z on June 17, 2010 at 1:13 PM

Obama is great!!!! May ‘Touchdown Jesus’ at Notre Dame be struck by lightning and destroyed if I am Wrong!!!!!

MaiDee on June 17, 2010 at 1:16 PM

Old Newsweek Headline “We’re All Socialist Now” New Newsweek Headline “We’re All Too Stupid Now”

Calling Americans names it’s not just reserved for Tea Partiers anymore. How appropriate the cable news channel that had their reporter attacking people peacefully protesting at a Tea Party event, is the same cable news outlet bearing the message to the rest of the American populace. Well maybe appropriate isn’t the correct word….uh hey, J.J. Payack, what would be the appropriate word? It’ has to rhyme with “Con Job”

Dr Evil on June 17, 2010 at 1:17 PM

Well the WH always knew we were all stupid and now they have confirmation from some firm in Texas who appears to be making a living conning folks gullible enough to hire their services.

jeanie on June 17, 2010 at 1:28 PM

Obviously they aren’t refering to conservatives when they mention his talking “may have gone over the heads of many in his audience”. He could care less about middle Americans, we aren’t his audiance.

“His audiance” is the low IQ liberal press, like those at MSNBC, and even lower IQ urban voters who didn’t like the speech. Unless he is directly giving them someonelses money, it isn’t a good speech.

ray on June 17, 2010 at 1:32 PM

CNN really knows how to go the extra mile in getting viewers and fans. One of the least trusted names in news, and it’s not hard to see why, just by looking at this stupidity. Telling people that their problem is that they’re too stupid to understand and comprehend when Obama ‘breaks down the genius’ is really a good way to endear yourself with a public that is increasingly turning against Obama. Even Prissy Chrissy Matthews and Olbermann aren’t that stupid. Then, to compound their arrogance by telling people it was barely written to conform to a 9th grade comprehension level is just an epic attempt to get extra mileage out of what’s already a messy suicide attempt.

‘You’re just not smart enough to understand the professor. He talked in terms a 9th grader could understand, and he was still too far above you to see him.’

Yeah.

It’s funny he won’t release his grades, nor refute the clarification by a guy that was teaching in Chicago at the school he ‘taught’ at, that he was nothing but an unreliable “guest lecturer”, who sometimes didn’t even show up for class. Even the liberal staffers said he didn’t stand a chance of getting a job as a professor/instructor in that school, and when Mark Levin pressed the guy he was interviewing on that, he admitted Obama was “not an academician”. He wasn’t smart enough to teach, barely knew what he was talking about (and sometimes didn’t, at all), and whatever it was going on between those big, floppy Dumbo-ears of his, it wasn’t deep or abstract thought. What’s really humorous are the astoundingly absurd mental gymnastics liberals of CNN will go through to try promoting this man, even when their own polls show the American public is getting really sick and tired of both Obama and CNN.

Virus-X on June 17, 2010 at 1:32 PM

sometimes didn’t even show up for class. Even the liberal staffers said he didn’t stand a chance of getting a job as a professor/instructor in that school, and when Mark Levin pressed the guy he was interviewing on that, he admitted Obama was “not an academician”. He wasn’t smart enough to teach, barely knew what he was talking about

I does make you stop and think, think hard, when you know he’s faced with an avalanch of facts all the time that he doesn’t seem to get the message—ever!! So far the meme has been that his agenda trumps all this and is more important to him. But…what if that’s not the case and he really is not all that clever? You know that old saying if it looks and quacks like a duck it must be a duck? Maybe this guy is the biggest scam since the naked emperor and we are the bigger fools for swallowing it?

jeanie on June 17, 2010 at 1:46 PM

If someone can find a text copy of his speech I can calculate it in Word in 30 seconds.

Logboy on June 17, 2010 at 1:49 PM

Yeah, I’m soooo stupid.

If I was that stupid I’d be a liberal.

Bob's Kid on June 17, 2010 at 1:56 PM

Appropriate: Back in 9.8th grade I was pretty good at making excuses, becoming indignant and vengeful, and generally blaming others, while at the same time avoiding specifics that I might later be held accountable for. I think they may have had and actual 9.8th grader write that thing, or maybe Obama wrote it himself.

forest on June 17, 2010 at 10:36 AM

As a teacher of 9th graders, I have to say that you’ve summed this up perfectly. Bravo!

Bob's Kid on June 17, 2010 at 2:04 PM

I’m sure I could understand Obabble better if I’d just guzzle a few gallons of lead paint.

EyeSurgeon on June 17, 2010 at 2:05 PM

Hey Cooper, whats that brown stuff sticking to your nose?

volsense on June 17, 2010 at 2:46 PM

OT – slightly . . . Did anyone else think Obama looked kind of frail /weak physically during his speech? Seriously, I thought he looked unhealthy.

francesca on June 17, 2010 at 3:06 PM

OT – slightly . . . Did anyone else think Obama looked kind of frail /weak physically during his speech? Seriously, I thought he looked unhealthy.

francesca on June 17, 2010 at 3:06 PM

Yes, he looks ground down. Not surprising considering the job. I remember being amazed at how much Bush had aged in office too.

Heralder on June 17, 2010 at 3:15 PM

In fact, if it weren’t for big people, where would we small people be??

Rod on June 17, 2010 at 11:03 AM
A helavah lot better off.
The study was done in Austin, Tx liberal bastion of kooks.
Nuff said.

Col.John Wm. Reed on June 17, 2010 at 3:43 PM

From Michelle Malkin.
Obama oil spill address draws 32 million

Obama Barack Obama’s first address from the Oval Office delivered 32.1 million viewers Tuesday evening. The speech ranks as the president’s second least-watched major cross-network primetime event.

Obama discussed the Gulf Coast oil spill and called for energy policy changes. The 20-minute address was viewed across 11 networks — ABC, CBS, FOX, NBC, TEL, UNI, CNN, CNBC, FOXNC, MSNBC, and TWC.

The audience is down 33% from Obama’s first State of the Union address in January and down 21% from his last primetime speech announcing a strategy for U.S. involvement in Afghanistan last December.

Of Obama’s major addresses, last night was the least-watched telecast yet. But the president’s health care reform press conference last July pulled a smaller audience, drawing 24.7 million.

Col.John Wm. Reed on June 17, 2010 at 3:56 PM

The whole point of billing Obama as the great (if not the greatest) communicator is to, hello, communicate. No matter what type of audience he has.

From the result of Americans’ response, he’s not doing a half decent job at that.

Sir Napsalot on June 17, 2010 at 4:17 PM

Of course! The primary trait of a good leader is that he comunicates in a way that the target audience can’t understand. Brilliant!

Scrappy on June 17, 2010 at 4:58 PM

I think there is likely to be a very strong positive corrolation between people who didn’t learn anything in school and those who don’t pay any attention to government actions including content of Obama speeches. Thirty-five words, if you can understand the foregoing, you are off the charts.

burt on June 17, 2010 at 5:50 PM

Whut?

AverageJoe on June 17, 2010 at 6:13 PM

I hit the mute button when FNC went to a clip of the speech. That desk is too big or he is too small, I think his elbows are fused at 90 degrees.

I became nauseated when I saw him bobbing down the steps from Air-force One with his hands flipping up and down in front of him with every hop. He needs to hire the Hillbuzz boyz to teach him how to walk like a man.

I am not a racist on June 17, 2010 at 7:01 PM

Ironically given the topic, CNN makes a grammatical error:

Though the president used slightly less than four sentences per paragraph

No, he used slightly FEWER than four sentences per paragraph. Fewer is quantitative, less is qualitative. If you ever see an express lane sign at a supermarket that reads “ten items or less,” it’s wrong.

radjah shelduck on June 17, 2010 at 7:27 PM

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